Franklinton hosting Loranger tonight

Published 6:37 am Friday, October 14, 2016

Franklinton is home tonight and is facing Loranger in a District 8-4A contest, as both teams look to improve to 2-0 in league play.

The Demons come in with a 3-3 record after capturing a thrilling 32-26 overtime victory over Salmen last week.

Franklinton is 24th in the unofficial Class 4A LHSAA power ratings. Last year, the Demons were victorious over Loranger, 41-14.

“We’re playing the team that was picked to win the district,” Franklinton coach Stephen Burris said. “They’ve got a receiver that’s been offered by Missouri, a tailback that was offered by Southeastern and a pretty good quarterback.”

The Demons have won two straight games and three of their last four after an 0-2 start.

Burris said one of the reasons for the recent success has been the return of wide receivers Jamarian Crain and Darius Dawson.

Crain, who missed three full games with an injury, has had more than 100 receiving yards in two of his last three games, while Dawson broke 100 yards last week. Dawson, a senior, is playing his first game action since his freshman year.

“You also have Rakerian (Conerly) and Duke (Lagarian Bell),” Burris said. “We’ve got four guys. All four are threats, so you can’t just cover one guy. It’s makes us that much tougher in the passing game.”

This season, Crain has 20 catches for 366 yards (18.3 yards per reception) and three touchdowns. Dawson, who caught a touchdown pass last week, has 14 receptions for 201 yards (14.4) and two scores.

Conerly, who caught a 35-yard touchdown pass last week, has 11 catches for 208 yards (18.9) and three touchdowns. Bell begins this week with eight catches for 127 yards (15.9).

Quarterback Tahj Magee, who had two touchdown passes and two rushing scores against Salmen, has thrown for 1,029 yards on 72-of-154 (46.8 completion percentage), with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He also leads the Demons’ running game with 100 carries for 606 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. Mike Martin has 54 attempts for 243 yards (4.5) and two touchdowns.

As a team, the Demons have thrown for 1,099 yards and run for 924.

Defensively, Chandler Scott is the team leader in tackles with 72. Jay Bickham is next with 51, followed by Lamont Harris’ 47.

The Demons forced two turnovers last week. Kian Conerly recovered a fumble and Jayden Ard returned an interception 8 yards for a touchdown.

Loranger has a 4-2 overall record and is 1-0 in district after a 42-36 win over Lakeshore last week. The Wolves are 10th in the unofficial Class 4A power ratings and they are among the teams receiving votes in the Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association poll.

Running back Evan Johnson has had a solid season. He has run for 867 yards on 132 carries (6.5) with eight touchdowns. He has caught 15 passes for 174 yards (11.6) and two touchdowns. He also has a kickoff return for a touchdown.

“He’s an exceptional football player,” Loranger coach Sam Messina said. “He does a lot of things well. He’s learned how to play over the last four years. He’s a playmaker. He gets the opportunity to make plays and he does it. He’s surrounded by a good team. They make him better and he makes them better.”

Quarterback D.J. Hoofkin has 895 passing yards on 61-of-134 (45.5 yards) with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has also run for 197 yards on 62 attempts (3.1) with four touchdowns.

Hunter Flanagan enters Friday night with 12 catches for 214 yards (17.8) and four touchdowns.

Defensively, the top players are end Malcolm Perry, outside linebacker Dalton Bivings and defensive back Deandre Brown.